In the last election, Republicans won super majorities in the State House and Senate, along with the governorship. This would give anyone the impression that there would be total agreement on bills and other issues being considered in this year’s legislative session. That is far from what is really happening. Gov. (Mike) Pence’s 10-percent state income tax cut was given little attention by Speaker Brian Bosma and the House. Instead the House wants to invest more, or in a layperson language, spend more. Their version of the budget doesn’t include the Governor’s proposed cut. However, don’t fret because Sen. Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville), who leads the Senate budgeting process, will likely express different priorities. The Senate’s budget proposal will follow State revenue projects to be released around April, and it is obvious to everyone that Sen. Kenley knows his stuff. Disagreement between House and Senate Republican doesn’t end there.
We also have the Transit Bill authored by Jerry Torr, (R-Carmel) which recently passed the House. Rep. Torr indicates a new transit system is required to keep this a world class city. What city was he talking about? It will allow 10 counties in the metro area to hold a referendum on whether to raise the county option income tax up to .3 percent to support local share for a new transit system. By the way, in Hamilton County that means a 30-percent increase in our county option income tax. Hamilton and Marion counties would be voting on the referendum in 2014. However, the bill still has to pass the Republican dominated Senate where support doesn’t seem to be bubbling over. So it looks as if once again, the House and Senate are on different pages.
So what do we really have with the Republican super majority in both chambers? It seems to me we have a House that wants more spending and a Senate and Governor that want to cut taxes. Maybe our forefathers were smarter than we think when they established our system of government. They provided for checks and balances with two houses in the legislature and the executive and judicial branches.